Academic journals play a key role in the dissemination of scholarly knowledge in the social sciences. Hence, publication in journals is critical evidence of scholarly performance for both individuals and the departments that they populate. While in the best of worlds each scholar's performance would be evaluated based on a close reading of his/her published journal articles, in the actual practices of hiring, tenure and promotion review, and departmental evaluations this ideal is often honored only in the breach. Instead, evaluators commonly base their judgments of the importance and quality of published articles, at least in part, on the journals in which they appear. The higher the status accorded a journal, the greater the weight attached to publications appearing in it.